|Jan van Eyck - Arnolfini and his bride|
If you visit the Groeningemuseum in Bruges, you can’t miss this work! It’s really a big diptych (2 pieces) of 202 x 349.5 cm (80 x 137.6 inch) and you see it when you enter the first hall dedicated to the Flemish Primitives.
It tells the old Persian story of Sisamnes, a judge who accepted a bribe and delivered an unjust verdict. When King Cambyses heard about this, he had the judge arrested and skinned alive as punishment.
|The painting "Judgement of Cambyses"|
The right panel shows how Sisamnes is being skinned alive (yep, they were really cruel in those days) as punishment. And again, take a look at the top right corner of that panel. There you see a young man sitting on a type of thrown. That’s Otanes, Sisamnes’ son, sitting in the chair of his father but which is draped with the skin of his father. To remind him what happens when you are corrupt…